Christian Roll (1915–2006)

Christian Roll was a German journalist. He reported from wartime Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, from the Philippines and many other places in Asia. His autobiography “Straße des Glücks” (“Street of luck”) portrays him as an adventurer who was not afraid to report from even the most dangerous places. However, it also shows him as a heavy drinker and playboy who had many “girlfriends” and frequented red-light districts. Due to his lifestyle, he was permanently in need of money, a problem which he sought to solve by buying antiques from Asian markets and reselling them to German collectors. Over time, he developed expertise and contributed a few articles to international collectors’ magazines. The Linden-Museum’s Asia curator (1955-71) and later director (1971-1986) Dr. Friedrich Kußmaul, was a frequent customer of Roll’s and purchased several hundred objects from him. Roll’s correspondence with Kußmaul indicates that he bought the Cordilleran objects in the 1970s from Philippine markets and dealers. He also travelled together with William Beyer, the son of Henry Otley Beyer, an American anthropologist and scholar of Cordilleran indigenous culture. Due to intense Evangelical mission campaigns in the Cordilleras, many old ritual objects were either destroyed or sold for little money on the markets during that period, as their original owners were told to make a radical break with their past beliefs.

Text: Prof. Dr. Georg Noack

Agawin

A small container for collecting snails. Woven from rattan. Women would attach this to their belt with a tiny woven handle.

Arm Beads

Arm ornament worn by women of the Tingguian ethnic group of Abra. It is made from glass and ceramic beads.

Bitangnge

Ifugao eating container. A small bowl used for chili is attached. Carved with design on its rim, the base is carved with a platform in order for the bowl to stand still when being used. Collector noted that this item was about forty years old when he acquired it.

Boaya necklace

Necklace made from boar’s tusks and runo reed in between. Men wear this together with the tangkil (this collection) during ceremonies and rituals such as in the begnas ritual for rice production. Observable inlaid designs on the runo sticks. Rattan basketry weave is designed on each of the tusks. It is worn by priests and warriors during rituals. Older versions of this are made from crocodile teeth, which is why this ornament is named after the local term for crocodile. Such objects are now considered a heirloom. Traditional materials are no longer available for their production. But nowadays, this ornament is sometimes reproduced and worn during cultural festivals.

Buklut

Container for locust such as the dudun or chuchun (large edible locusts). Ifugaos during the first half of the 20th century trapped (using the butit or botet) and gathered locusts. There were cases when a swarm passes over the rice fields. It was the belief of the old folks in Ifugao that dudun caused famine, so they had to be contained. These objects are no longer made nowadays as the dudun infestation is no longer a problem.

Bul-ul

Ifugao male Bul-ul sitted on square platform. An ritual paraphernalia, carved with hole between buttocks and the base to allow the man’s decorative garb wanoh to be placed.

Bul-ul

Carved wooden male Bul-ul standing on a square platform. Carved to show a round shaped hair cut and ears pierced with circular holes on which the mumbaki ritual priest would sometimes put rice panicles during the harvest rituals. Possible traces of blood patina. During the performance of rice rituals, the mumbaki priest sometimes touch the bul-ul with his hands dipped in a sacrificed pig’s blood.

Bul-ul

Ifugao wooden Bul-ul without blood patina. Sitted on a square platform. Collector notes that this object is from Southern Ifugao and was used for about four generations

Bul-ul couple

A pair of wooden Bul-ul, male and female, sitting on a carved square platform. During rice harvests, these are positioned to face the harvested bundles of rice, mimicking a couple who watches over the harvest. Possible traces of blood patina. During the performance of rice rituals, the mumbaki priest sometimes touch the Bul-ul with his hands dipped in a the sacrificed pig’s blood. These are usually placed near the door of rice granaries together with wooden pigs.

Bul-ul couple standing

A pair of wooden Bul-ul, male and female, standing on a carved platform, the female is standing on a platform carved in the shape of an Ifugao rice mortar. Head was carved to show a round shaped hair cut and inlaid eyes with shells. Female (right) was carved showing the breasts. Possible traces of blood patina. These are usually placed near the door of rice granaries together with wooden pigs.

Bul-ul with hair

A finely carved male Bul-ul with human hair on the head, and possible layers of blood patina. Ears pierced with circular holes on which the mumbaki ritual priest would sometimes put rice panicles during the harvest rituals. The base was shaped likened to an Ifugao rice mortar. Comes from western Ifugao.

Bul-ul with wanoh

Ifugaos sometimes put a men’s lower garment (wanoh) on their bul-ul and style the head part to show the hair cut. Carved to show details of the human face, feet and hands plus ears pierced with circular holes. The mumbaki ritual priest sometimes put rice panicles on these pierced ears during the harvest rituals. Bul-ul is standing on a carved platform shape like the round Ifugao mortar.

Charm amulet

Small anthropomorphic figure carved from narra wood. Possibly used as charm object, to bring good luck or protection from harm. Collector labelled the object as “fertility figure”.

Clay container

Clay pot container with wood cover and stand. With geometric designs similar to some designs of tattooing in Kalinga villages.

Container for catching birds

A basket container for catching birds. Open hexagonal plaiting type of rattan weave. During the summer months, young boys in some villages in Ifugao would go to the mountains and fields to catch birds such as the bud’ing or pfucheng ricebirds (munia birds). They use a stick with pu-ot sticky sap from trees such as jackfruit to catch the birds.

Dancing male Bul-ul

Wooden male Bul-ul from Kiangan. Finely carved with arms that can be detached. Hands on sideways appear to show a dance movement in the Ifugao traditional dance. It stands on a square platform.

Dukaw or Chukaw

A bronze anthropomorphic figure attached to a small piece of wood. It is part of a headdress called dungdung, worn on the head of a woman during her marriage ceremony called uya-uy. It was only worn by the Ifugao kadangyan propertied elite. The dukaw is attached to the long inipul strings of beads, forming the headdress. This is no longer produced nowadays since marriage rites are primarily celebrated by Christian priests. Some families incorporate traditional marriage rites in contemporary Christian marriage ceremonies.

Figurative sculpture

Female wooden figure. With patina. The collector noted that this is a house post with “ancestor figure” and that it is from the Bontoc.

Figurative sculpture “old man”

Wooden figure of an old man with a cane. Collector notes that this is a carving in soft wood representing an Ifugao warrior, done during the American period for commercial purposes.

Gampa

Small version of the Ifugao gampa. Open basket made out of rattan. With rattan strip border and an attached handle. It is used as a tray e.g. for boiled sweet potato or taro.

Gangsa

Bontoc gong made out of bronze. The collector noted that the handle is made from jawbone. Gongs are played during Bontoc rice rituals, especially during the planting and harvest season. Gangsa is an instrument shared by several groups in the Cordillera. It varies in size and in the way it is tuned to suit the preferred sound pitch when played. Few skilled men continue to produce this.

Ginutto

A belt worn by men made from disk shape rings of shells. It is worn together with the bolo knife in its wooden sheath. Shells were attached using a combination of cotton thread, bark thread and rattan. The rings hang down when worn by men. One big shell is attached at the middle where a tie holds the whole ornament to the scabbard with the belt. The number of shells and the length of the belt vary. It is a highly valued possession among Ifugaos and only the propertied elite wear a ginutto during festive occasions such as marriage ceremonies. They material re now considered as heirlooms. Materials are no longer available for their production. But nowadays, these ornaments are popularly reproduced and worn during cultural festivals.

Gubu or Apayo

An implement used to trap fish, especially eel, in the rice fields. Made from rattan and bamboo laths. The sharp bamboo prings are pointed inward (so as not to allow fish to move out). The funnel-like fish trap part is woven with the stem of the bi-al plant, a vine that grows in the steep, brush-covered slopes surrounding the rice terraces. This fish trap is placed in the mud of the rice terraces. The trap is designed so that the fish pass through the funnel-shaped mouth of the trap and cannot get out again. Gubu are normally used from the time just after harvest until the next cropping season.

Gubu or Apayo

An implement used to trap fish, especially eel, in the rice fields. Made from rattan and bamboo laths. The sharp bamboo prings are pointed inward (so as not to allow fish to move out). The funnel-like fish trap part is woven with the stem of the bi-al plant, a vine that grows in the steep, brush-covered slopes surrounding the rice terraces. This fish trap is placed in the mud of the rice terraces. The trap is designed so that the fish pass through the funnel-shaped mouth of the trap and cannot get out again. Gubu are normally used from the time just after harvest until the next cropping season.

Hakda, Hagcha or Haydu

A flat woven rattan basket used to catch fish or gather snail in the rice fields. It is used at a time when the rice fields are being cleaned and prepared for planting the rice seedlings. Women skillfully use such baskets to take small sized fishes and edible shells from the disturbed rice fields. Udchang shrimps and khinga shells are often caught.

Hapeeng

A rattan backpack with built-in opening. It was designed to allow flexibility in carrying loads when travelling long distance, mostly by foot. It was also used in storing personal belongings. Food, clothing and other personal belongings were stored or carried with this object. One of the several kinds of backpacks produced by Ifugaos. Containers of this kind are no longer popular in Ifugao as cloth and leather based commercial backpacks have gradually been introduced. Contemporary versions of this object are made nowadays for sale to tourists.

Hapeeng

A rattan woven backpack with cover and straps. It was designed to allow flexibility in carrying loads when travelling long distance, mostly by foot. It was also used in storing personal belongings. Food, clothing and other personal belongings were carried or stored with this object. One of the several backpacks produced by Ifugaos. Containers of this kind are no longer popular in Ifugao as several clothed and leather based commercial backbacks have gradually been introduced. Contemporary versions of this object are made nowadays for sale to tourists.

Hinalong

Smaller version of the Ifugao hinalong bolo with its heot scabbard. The scabbard is made out of wood with rattan basketry design. Men would normally own one as this is very useful for cutting almost anything. It is often personalized by the owners who would put a mark or design on it or, in nowadays, etch their name on it.

Hip’ag amulet

A wooden anthropomorphic figure seated on a carved platform. With patina. Figures like this embody the powers of the Hip’ag war deities that were invoked during rituals dealing with any form of violence and related acts. Hip’ag deities were often associated to hunting, sorcery and curing unusual illness. Hip’ag objects may also take the shape of animals such as a boar. According to the collector, this object was “several generations” old when he acquired it.

Hukup or Ho-op

Woven rattan and bamboo flat basket container with square base and outflaring corners. It has a fitting square cover. Used by the Ifugaos as food container primarily for cooked rice, and sweet potatoes. Collector notes that this “is used for carrying cooked rice to the fields”. Containers of this kind are rarely used nowadays in Ifugao households as many ceramic and plastic containers have gradually been introduced.

Human Remains

A head tied on a wooden board together with a wooden spear blade and dry leaves.

Jewelry container

A finely woven small container with cover. It is made by a combination of warp and weft rattan work. Used to store ornaments such as earrings and necklaces. Containers of this kind are rarely used nowadays in Ifugao households as the traditional jewellery is no longer produced and other jewellery types have gradually been introduced. Similar objects are still woven and sold to tourists.

Kalasay

Wooden shield. Mound shaped and forked with three prongs atop and two prongs at its base. Rattan basketry was woven to help keep the wood together. Handle at the back was carved. With thick patina. Dated 19th century by the collctor.

Kango

A hornbill skull and beak used as part of the headdress called kango (name of hornbill bird) that is worn by men during the uya-uy marriage ceremony. The kango headdress is composed of the skull and beak of the hornbill and decorated with beads, (made of glass and sometimes seeds), feathers and a newly woven man’s garb. The garb was worn around the head and the loose ends hang down reaching the waist. It was only worn by the Ifugao kadangyan propertied elite. This is no longer produced nowadays since marriage rites are primarily celebrated by Christian priests. Some families incorporate traditional marriage rites in contemporary Christian marriage ceremonies.

Kinahu hip’ag

Wooden figure shaped like a dog used as an amulet. It is usually kept in a basket or in a ritual box. A wooden anthropomorphic figure seated on a carved platform. With patina. Figures like this embody the powers of the Hip’ag war deities that were invoked during rituals dealing with any form of violence and related acts. Hip’ag deities were often associated to hunting, sorcery and curing unusual illness. Hip’ag objects may also take the shape of other animals such as a boar.

Kopit

A small rattan woven container with cover. Baskets like this were used by men to store tobacco and other personal belongings. With patina.

Male figurative sculpture

An anthropomorphic figure with elaborate male reproductive organ. Collector notes that this is used as “hanger” in a Bontoc sleeping place.

Malukung food container

Wooden container for sago from Banaue, Ifugao. It is carved with a head of an animal (a turtle) at either end. Collector notes that this object is “nineteenth century”. Similar containers were used for food that has been cooked using the hibak (tuwali Ifugao) boiling method for meat, legumes and other vegetables. Containers of this kind are rarely used nowadays in Ifugao households as many ceramic, glass and plastic containers have gradually been introduced. Sometimes wood carvers make contemporary versions of this object for sale to tourists.

Meat Container

A wooden meat container with cover. The cover is designed with lizard, a species often depicted in woodcarving. Some Ifugao villages distinguish at least five kinds of lizards found inside the house and on the ground. The whole container is carved in the shape of a turtle. Before the WWII, meat was occasionally eaten, normally during rituals, celebrations or when hunters come home with a game. Pork and chicken are the preferred meat amongst the Ifugao and Bontoc.

Miniature rice mortar Luhong and pestle Alu

Finely carved miniature Ifugao mortar and pestle made out of wood. These two represents what Ifugaos use to pound and husk rice that were harvested and sundried. Each house in Ifugao society would own at least one pair of pestle and a mortar. It was normal that homes would have more pairs of pestle. Sizes and weight vary depending on the age groups that would use it. Several homes stopped using these since the kiskisan rice mill technology started operating in the communities.

Model house

A complete model of an Ifugao dwelling house, central Ifugao style. Wooden structure with a thatched roof made of cogon grass. All the mains parts can be detached and assembled as it is in a real Ifugao house. The tuod or tukod posts show the house was constructed using tree trunks with truncated roots as sturdy footing. This model also shows the lidi thick discs placed on the upper end of all four posts that primarily prevent rats from climbing into the house. The front side of the house shows a small carved head (with horn) of a buffalo. The model also includes a miniature mortar and pestle, carved from wood, which is an important part of Ifugao homes. A five piece set of miniature objects (mumbaki ritual priest, ricewine jar, ritual box, pig, ricewine bowl) is also included. This set shows an Ifugao ritual act. Rituals are often performed inside the house and on outdoor grounds of Ifugao homes.

Muling stone amulet

Muling, a hard and heavy stone used as an amulet for protection from harm. In some areas in Ifugao, it is sometimes accompanied with a stick with a stone s stone tied to the end. Other parts of Ifugao call it kodla.

Patiw

Wooden spice (e.g. chilli) container with cover from Ifugao. In the past, some households planted chilli in their backyards. Chilli is crushed and used in its raw form and it is often used by men to season meat dishes.

Punamhan

A wooden ritual box with cover used by the Ifugaos in rituals performed to urge for bountiful rice production. It was carved with anthropomorphic figures at each end of the box. It contains remains of pakhuy (unhusked rice), momah (Areca cathecu), egg and possibly dried bark of the tree. The box’s contents are remains of ritual performances using the object. Each ritual that was performed left a ritual paraphernalia inside the box.

Punamhan

A wooden ritual box with cover used by the Ifugaos in rituals performed to urge for bountiful rice production. It is carved with animal shaped busts projected at each end from upper side of box. It contains remains of pakhuy (unhusked rice), momah (areca cathecu), cut runo (Miscanthus chinensis) stems, a stone amulet, a small flat iron (resembling part of a blade used to harvest rice) and possibly dried part of the momah plant. The box’s contents are remains of ritual performances using the object. Each ritual that was performed left ritual paraphernalia inside the box. Runo stems were sometimes used in healing rituals to call for the soul. In some villages in Ifugao, runo remains in ritual boxes may have been used to record the number of pigs that were used to pay the rice fields associated to the ritual box.

Ritual act

A five piece set of miniature objects (mumbaki ritual priest, ricewine jar, ritual box, pig, ricewine bowl) showing a ritual act. Rituals are often performed inside the dwelling house or on outdoor grounds of Ifugao homes. This set also shows a ritual priest, carved wearing garments including head gear, is sitting with the important ritual paraphernalia. Priests would sit for several hours during the performance of rituals as they take turns reciting the ritual myths.

Ritual box

A small rattan woven ritual box with cover. A wooden anthropomorphic figure and a feather was attached to the box. It contains remains of dried momah (areca nut), a stone hip’ag amulet, a wooden (kinahu) amulet and rolled and tied leaf. Collector labelled this as “magic box with content”.

Seed Container

A bamboo container with rattan basketry weave around it. With a cover and braided handle. Some Ifugao villages store their rice seeds in bamboo and rattan containers. Over the years, the Ifugaos have planted many varieties of rice. They have observed the characteristics of each of these varieties s this was very important in the traditional rice production.

Sling bag

A small rattan sling bag, with cover and strap.

Small anthropomorphic figure

Wooden anthropomorphic figure with knees bended. With patina. Collector labelled this as “ancestor figure huguhug”. Huguhug literally means the rock above the hearth which is used for drying firewood and rice or seeds. It resembles the kinabbigat wooden figures in Ifugao villages In some villages of central Ifugao, the propertied class would have a kinabbigat inside their houses. It is used to support the roof and the balog/pfalog attic part of the dwelling house. Kinabbigat may have been derived from kabbigat, a god and the source or giver of rice in central Ifugao.

Small seed container

Rattan container with cover and handle. Remains of rice seeds are still in it. Some Ifugao villages store their rice seeds in rattan containers that allow natural aeration for the seeds to maintain the desired moisture and quality. Over the years, the Ifugaos have planted several varieties of rice and they have been observing the characteristics of these rice varieties as this was very important in the traditional rice production.

Spoon

Spoon with female figurative sculpture.

Spoon

Spoon with figurative sculpture.

Spoon

Spoon with figurative sculpture.

Spoon

Spoon with figurative sculpture.

Suklong

A finely woven headgear using dyed materials, boar’s tusk and beads. A pin with an eagle design at the center. It was worn by men and it was primarily used as a storage for personal items such as tobacco. It is worn on the back of the head and secured with the black beads string across forehead. Several other designs can be found in the Bontoc - Kankanaey area. Some elders in Bontoc and nearby villages still wear the suklong during festivities or special occasions.

Tangkil

A man’s upper arm ornament made out of boar’s tusk. Men wear a pair of this during ceremonies and rituals such as in the begnas ritual for the rice production. With a basketry weave and a wooden figure with hair. This material is now considered an heirloom. Materials are no longer available for its production. But nowadays, this ornament is popularly reproduced and worn during cultural festivals.

Tangkil

A man’s upper arm ornament made out of boar’s tusk. With a basketry weave and a wooden figure with feathers attached. With patina. Collector notes this is from Bontoc and is “amulet”. Men wear a pair of this during ceremonies and rituals such as in the begnas ritual for the rice production. This material is now considered an heirloom. Materials are no longer available for its production. But nowadays, this ornament is popularly reproduced and worn during cultural festivals.

Textile

Collector noted this is a “skirt and belt”.

Textile

Collector noted this is a “blanket”.

Textile

Collector noted this is a “loincloth”.

Textile

Collector noted that this is a “burial shroud”.

Textile

Collector noted that this is a “women’s skirt”.

Textile

Collector noted that this is a “women’s skirt”.

Tinagtagu

A male wooden sculpture with a read cloth on the waist. The figure is sitting on a round platform. Part of the nose, arm and leg were chipped off suggesting it may have been used in a ceremonial practice. Collector notes that this object is from the Bontoc and labeled it tinagtagu.

Tupil

Finely woven rattan container with cover and straps. Used to carry food and serve as a “lunch basket”. In some villages, this container was also used in storing legumes such as peas and mung beans.

Ulbong or Orpfong

Woven container with cover and braided handle used for storing husked or pounded rice (from the mortar and pestle). The based is made of coiled single flat piece of rattan. A lizard design was woven on to the outer part of the container. Before the introduction of plastic and ceramic rice bins, each house owned one of this. The container was primarily used to protect the rice from unwanted insects and kept the desired rice moisture and taste for days. Each household would store pounded rice so it will be ready for cooking. Containers like this are kept inside the Ifugao traditional house. It was a practice to keep this container filled with some rice contents.

Ulbong or Orpfong

Woven container with cover and braided handle used for storing ceremonial rice.

Ulbong or Orpfong

Woven container with cover. It was used for storing husked or pounded rice (from the mortar and pestle). Before the introduction of plastic and ceramic rice bins, each house owned one of this. The container was primarily used to protect the rice from unwanted insects and kept the desired rice moisture and taste for days. Each household would store pounded rice so it will be ready for cooking. Containers like this were kept inside the Ifugao traditional house. It was a practice to keep this container filled with some rice contents. In recent times in Ifugao and other parts of the Cordilleras, containers similar to this are woven and used as ceremonial gift to newly married couple.

Uppig

Finely woven rattan container with cover. Used to carry food and serve as a “lunch basket”.

Wooden container

Wooden container designed with a seated anthropomorphic figure.

Wooden pig

A wooden animal figure from southern Ifugao. Finely carved showing pig’s body parts. It was usually placed in the Ifugao rice granary accompanying the bul-ul and the punamhan or the tingab ritual boxes.